The new Executive Director for the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce had his first day on the job Monday. Rhinelander native Dana DeMet says he’s busy getting up to speed on upcoming events like the Hodag Home Show.
He says one of his goals as chamber director is to help make membership a measurable benefit.
“I’m really looking forward to expanding on not only just the events that we have, but putting together some measurable results or goals. I really want to foster the true value for the chamber’s members.”
Artisan coffee is a trend that’s has pretty much swept the nation's cities. It’s no surprise to find local roasters in Milwaukee or Madison. But where you might not expect to find one…is in a garage in the tiny town of Hiles, Wisconsin.
Dave Roberts is working on an espresso blend for his company Rio Lobo coffee. But he hasn’t always been a roaster. At the age of 55, he made an unusual career change.
“My family had a logging business, and a sawmill business," Roberts explained. "We were about to sell that – that’s when I kind of gravitated toward coffee roasting."
Governor Scott Walker says the state’s business climate is improving. He made an appearance at a Vilas County Economic Development meeting Monday at Eagle Waters Resort.
Speaking to a crowd of business people and local officials, Walker said good things are happening in Wisconsin, and noted 13,000 new businesses have been created since he took office. Walker also talked about his Walleye Initiative, which resonated with Dick Mendham, owner of Sunset Resort near Phelps:
Businesses in downtown Rhinelander put on their best show for an annual street fair Wednesday.
It was a breezy day on Brown Street and vendors were out in full force, selling everything from antiques to tshirts to shaved ice. Justine Whitefish is selling frybread. She's been making it for 33 years but she’s a new entrepreneur. It’s her first year at Redikulus Dae and she’s a little disappointed by the turnout.
Downtown Rhinelander is gearing up for an annual one-day street fair. Redikulus Dae is designed to bring people out to shop downtown. Executive Director for Downtown Rhinelander Inc. Maggie Steffen says it’s been a tradition for 55 years.
“I can tell you – some of us that have grown up here, it was a big deal to go downtown on that day and see your family and friends. It was a way to meet up with people that you haven’t seen in a while. It’s just a fun atmosphere – it’s not necessarily just shopping, it’s more of almost an experience.”
Rhinelander is about to get hit with a wave of country music fans, during the area’s biggest tourism event.
The four-day Hodag Country Festival begins Thursday, and tens of thousands of people are expected to attend. Director of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Lara Reed says the economic impact on the region is huge.
“We say for every visitor that spends the night in our community, it’s $180 a day. So if we say there’s 20,000 people for Hodag Country Fest, it’s a $3.6 million impact a day for the duration of the festival.”